How to stop a speeding bullet

Scientists take a close look at a plastic that has Superman’s ability to stop a speeding bullet

By Stephen Ornes, 15:51 PM November 26, 2012

A bullet fired into a disk of polyurethane — a type of plastic — may not burst out the other side. In some instances, the bullet will stop in its tracks, frozen by the plastic and sealed inside. How a simple plastic can do this has left researchers scratching their heads. Until now.

Although experiments have demonstrated the plastic’s bullet-braking ability, the scientific explanation for it had remained a mystery, notes engineer Ned Thomas of Rice University in Houston.

In a new experim...

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